Employment Guide: How To Ace An Interview

Like many things, it’s easy when you know how. Here are our favourite tips for interview success…

Turn up

Every action and every detail communicates something. The interviewer knows very little about you. Turning up on time and in appropriate attire indicates reliability.

Smile

The interviewer doesn’t just want to know that you can do the job. They also want to know that you can fit in. Simple people skills such as smiling and eye contact are crucial.

Not too much, not too little

Take your time with the questions, but not too much time. You need to look thoughtful but not slow. Keep your answers to the point (20 seconds max). Focus specifically on answering the question.

Homework

Once you get called for interview it’s a good idea to do some research. You may already know one of the employees, in which case, you can ask them to tell you about what the organisation’s all about – otherwise it’s down to the internet. You should look to have a basic knowledge of what they do and how the role you’re aiming to land fits in with it. The information you harvest will help you to figure out how your skills and experiences will help with what they do. You’ll need to try to stitch these points into your answers. Similarly, your homework can also help you to design questions for that predictable moment when you’re asked: ‘So, do you have any questions?’ It’s also true that a really good interview should be an exchange. You need to know if they are ‘right for you’ too. Good questions highlight your interest and intelligence and help you to gather important details to aid your decision.

Common questions

Your background research will stand you in good stead. Even so, you should also prepare for some of the more common interview questions, such as: Why do you want to work here? Where do you see yourself in a year or two years etc? What’s so good about you? Yes, the questions are basic, so you need to make your answer stand out in a way that other interviewees won’t have. Your answers need to project you as professional, thoughtful, human and ideally, reflect how your top skills and attributes can be ‘put to work’.

Close

The best way to end an interview is with a controlled ‘close’. Worst case scenario is to walk out of the interview only for the interviewer to think of something they needed to ask you but forgot. Asking a question like: ‘Is there any reason why I shouldn’t get the job’ can either prompt a reason – and an opportunity for you to correct their thinking by providing an example from your experience – or, fingers
crossed, an inviation to start on Monday.

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